Conference Paper

Muslim women’s entrepreneurship in conflict zones: Religiosity, culture and gender egalitarianism


Whilst the role and impact of culture upon women’s entrepreneurship have been acknowledged within the entrepreneurship literature, the interplay and nuances of Islamic religiosity and gender egalitarianism as cultural indicators of Muslim women’s entrepreneurship in conflict-ridden countries remain understudied. Within this study, we contribute to this special issue and bridge this gap by analysing the interplay between Islamic culture and Muslim women’s entrepreneurial behaviours and strategies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, as all three contexts continue to experience decades of intense and protracted political and violent conflict. Our qualitative data collected from 16 Muslim women entrepreneurs operating their businesses in these contexts shows how their Islamic religiosity plays a powerful role in guiding entrepreneurial behaviours and strategies in multiple ways within precarious structural conditions and failed states. Indeed, the women’s Islamic religiosity influenced the launch, operations and growth of their enterprises, and anchored them within the chaotic and dangerous void within their failed states. In addition, this study shows that Islamic gender egalitarianism embedded within Islamic principles is promoted by the women entrepreneurs as they utilise their entrepreneurship as an expression of Islamic feminist activism challenging the prevailing stereotypes of Muslim women under patriarchal cultural contexts, and creating awareness about women’s rights to engage in entrepreneurship under Islamic law."

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Althalathini, Doaa
Al-Dajani, Haya
Apostolopou, Nikolaos

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-02-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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